Jadeveon Clowney

Clowney tell-all reveals bad, worse aspects of recruiting

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Warning: reading Thayer Evans‘ exclusive Jadeveon Clowney tell-all may significantly raise your blood pressure.

And, no, not because it’s Thayer Evans.

The Clowney circus officially ended yesterday (we hope) when the nation’s No. 1 recruit chose to attend South Carolina over in-state rival Clemson and SEC West foe Alabama. The delayed decision, intended to coincide with Clowney’s birthday, was largely greeted with disgust as fans from all over the country implored the kid to get on with it already.

Evans’ exclusive interview with Clowney and his mother (which can and should be read HERE) shows that the week-long puppet show was merely the climax in a nauseating demonstration of butt kissing the likes of which I’ve never read before.

For one, Clowney reveals he was taken to campus parties at Alabama, Clemson and South Carolina, where as the 17-year-old put it, “Girls be all on you.” Even Florida State recruiting coordinator Dameyune Craig called Clowney on signing day saying, “I don’t know if you’re going to come down here to see us or if you’re coming down for the girls, because we got ’em.”

As comedian Bill Engvall once joked, “The way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach. It’s a little further south.”

The compliments kept coming.

“Ja-DAVE-ian, come on, man, come to South Carolina. We need you. We need you bad,” said Steve Spurrier in a voicemail.

“You see that class we’re picking up?” said Dabo Swinney in another voicemail on signing day. “I hope you’re watching. We’re getting them all. No point in waiting. You might as well come. It’d be the happiest day of my life. I love you, Clowney. Come on.”

The love shown for Clowney and his freakish athletic ability isn’t a new recruiting tactic, nor is it exclusive to him. It does, however, lend itself to further manifesting the cockiness of spoiled athletes who have never heard the word “no” in their lifetime.

Such a false sense of entitlement became very evident when Clowney spewed out some cheap shots about Nick Saban after Saban came for an in-house visit in December.

“I don’t see no big deal like everybody else,” Clowney said about Saban’s visit. “They’d say, ‘He’s the king of all of football.’ The guy ain’t nothing but 5-5. He’s a short guy. Everybody’s going crazy on Nick Saban.

“He talked the whole time he was there. I was dozing off. He can talk. A lot. He talked for a whole straight hour.”

Clowney and his mother then enjoyed a weekend in Tuscaloosa at, among other places, Saban’s lakefront house a month later in January.

But, you can’t solely blame Clowney for his self-righteousness; he’s probably never been taught otherwise. On the contrary, he’s more than likely spent his entire life being assured of his greatness. Affirmation like that is only heightened during the recruiting process.

It conjures up images of greasy used car salesmen who will say anything to close the deal, when in reality it’s buyer beware.

“I want to make people wait,” Clowney said of his delayed announcement. “The longer I make them wait, I see who really wants me to come there.”

Clowney shouldn’t hold his breath. If he doesn’t develop as planned, those coaches won’t wait for him much longer.

ECU transfer Kurt Benkert wins Virginia’s starting QB job

In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert rolls out to pass during NCAA college football practice in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Four months ago, Kurt Benkert was one the losing end of a quarterback competition at East Carolina.  Fastforward to today, and he’s now the trigger man in a Power Five offense.

First-year Hoos head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Wednesday that Benkert will start the season opener against Richmond.  Benkert had been involved in a competition that included returning starter Matt Johns and Texas/Arizona transfer Connor Brewer.

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Benkert came to the Cavaliers as a graduate transfer, but is not a one-year stop-gap as he has two years of eligibility remaining.

Named the Pirates’ starter in early August of 2015, Benkert sustained a right knee injury a couple of weeks later that knocked him out for the entire season.  Blake Kemp took over and kept a stranglehold on the starting job through spring practice this year, triggering Benkert’s decision to move on.

Benkert has attempted 10 passes in his collegiate career, all in 2014.

In starting all 12 games for the Cavaliers last season, Johns’ 2,810 passing yards were third in school history while his 20 touchdowns were tied for fourth.  His 17 interceptions, though, were the most of any FBS quarterback in 2015.

Cassius Peat granted release by Mich. St., appears headed to JUCO

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 15:  A Michigan State Spartans helmet on the bench during a college football game against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on November 15, 2014 in College Park, Maryland.  The Spartans won 37-15.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Earlier this month, Mark Dantonio stated that Michigan State was giving Cassius Peat “an opportunity to work on his academics and get himself in order” as his status with the program was “in flux.”

A week or so later?  He gone.

MSU confirmed Wednesday that Peat has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer from the Spartans.  And, in fact, the defensive lineman may have already found a new home, one at the junior college level.

Peat, initially a UCLA commit, was a three-star 2015 recruit who was rated as the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Arizona.  He took a redshirt as a true freshman, and had been listed as the No. tackle heading into summer camp.

However, according to mlive.com, Peat did not report for camp amidst his academic issues.

Ex-Oregon St. DB goes home to LaTech as grad transfer

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Running back Justin Davis #22 of the USC Trojans is defended by safety Cyril Noland-Lewis #17 of the Oregon State Beavers in the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated Oregon State 35-10.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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A week after transferring from Oregon State, Cyril Noland-Lewis has found a new home that happens to also double as his hometown.

The Ruston News Star, among others, has reported that Noland-Lewis is transferring into the Louisiana Tech football program.  As he is coming to Tech as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play for the Bulldogs in 2016, his final season of eligibility.

The defensive back, who went to high school in Ruston, was at the Bulldogs’ practice Tuesday as Tech continues preparations for the season opener Sept. 3 against Arkansas.

Noland-Lewis started 10 games for the Beavers last season.  Six of those starts came as a safety, the others as the nickel corner.  OSU moved Noland-Lewis to cornerback this offseason, where he ultimately found himself buried on the depth chart in summer camp.

The 6-0, 198-pound fifth-year senior, who began his OSU career as a linebacker, played in a total of 37 games during his time in Corvallis.

Tyler Rodgers, NMSU’s starting QB, arrested on battery charge

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Tyler Rogers #18 of the New Mexico State Aggies drops back to pass against the LSU Tigers during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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It’s not been a good day for a couple of starting quarterbacks at Group of Five programs.

The Las Cruces Sun-News has reported that New Mexico State’s Tyler Rogers turned himself in last Friday on a warrant that had been issued for him Aug. 14.  The junior was booked on one count of misdemeanor charge of battery against a household member.

The alleged victim is Rogers’ girlfriend. A verbal altercation at a party allegedly turned physical in a vehicle later on. When police arrived, the woman, who was initially crying, “downplayed the incident and said that it wasn’t really anything and that the altercation did not get physical and didn’t consider Mr. Rogers grabbing her arm as being a physical altercation.”

The woman decided against completing a domestic violence supplement report, and, according to the Sun-News, it’s unclear if the woman is cooperating with police.

“I was very disappointed in hearing the news but we are in the information gathering stage,” NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia said in a statement. “These are allegations that we take very seriously and we look forward to getting as much detail as possible so the university can be informed and the athletic department can make an informed decision moving forward.”

Because “it is a misdemeanor, there isn’t a suspension coming forth right now,” head coach Doug Martin said.

Rogers has started 15 games the past two seasons for the Aggies.